Give councilors input on candidates
I am so energized by the 10 women who have applied for the open seat on the Ashland City Council. I feel confident that the five councilors can find a woman from among these 10 women who is qualified and capable of developing policies that govern our city. It is a challenge to fully vet 14 candidates in less than a month and to make a decision about which one will join the City Council for the next two years.
The process that has been laid out for selecting this councilor is changing from the Jan. 16 study session that I attended. Originally, after interviewing all the applicants, councilors were to discuss applicants in a executive session that would not be open to the public. The city attorney informed the councilors that Oregon public meetings law (ORS 192.630.662) prevents the discussion and appointment of a replacement for an elected official to take place in executive session.
Therefore, councilors are scheduled to discuss the process and perhaps the applicants on Monday, Feb. 6, at a public City Council study session from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Note that this is not the regular time of 5:30 p.m. The council will select by secret ballot a two-year replacement for position No. 6 at the Feb. 21 City Council meeting. As an agenda item, members of the public can make their opinions known to the council.
I am going to attend both the study session on Feb. 6 and the business meeting of the council on Feb. 21. I encourage all citizens to attend either or both meetings. Remember, democracy is not a spectator sport.